Kentucky had its media opportunity today in Des Moines, Iowa, before playing Stony Brook Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament
Here’s a couple of things John Calipari said not related directly to the game:
Q. Cal, when Rick Pitino was on ESPN yesterday he made some, what sounded like criticisms of Kentucky in the way that you recruit and I’m wondering if you have a response to that?
JOHN CALIPARI: I would really rather not respond. I don’t know exactly what you’re talking about. They run a terrific program. He’s a terrific coach. He is a Hall of Famer. We’re in the same state. Sometimes you’ve got to rub elbows, sometimes you’ve got to throw elbows, but I respect him.
Q. The tournament officials always say story line or plot line is not part of the bracket. You look at this situation where you’ve got Indiana next if you win and where they put you in a late game against Cinderella, what do you think about plot line?
JOHN CALIPARI: I’m usually — I like to poke the bear the hour after that show and then after that it really doesn’t matter. I poke the bear and then the bear chases me. They haven’t caught me yet, I’ve run up the tree a few times. But it doesn’t matter at this point. Now it’s like you’ve gotta play games and it’s not changing.
Q. You’ve said all season long it only matters in March, and you’ve had success bringing freshmen to this tournament. What do you say to them to get them ready for this type of competition?
JOHN CALIPARI: This season and the league tournament, obviously the league tournament had nothing to do with seed, and that’s why we play it just to help us prepare for this tournament.
We had two tough games. I mean, both Texas A&M and Georgia were wars. Alabama even played pretty good against us that first night. So we got prepared that way. From this point, this team is empowered and they have to play confident, and that means they’ve got to help each other play confident. Then I want my teams to have more fun than any team in this tournament. When you watch ’em, if we are doing our job as a staff you’re going to say, boy, they have fun playing basketball. If I do that and we don’t win, we got a pretty good group comin’ next year.